Two Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Programs Announced: How To Apply!

The much anticipated Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot applications date is finally announced. Candidates will soon be able to apply to immigrate to one of the communities participating in this program. In recent days, two of the participating program have announced to local media stations that they wish to begin accepting applications from candidates in the next three months.

Brandon, Manitoba has declared they will be accepting applications from candidates as of December 1, 2019, with Claresholm, Alberta announcing it will begin same in January 2020.

Interested workers or candidates applying for the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot scheme should be vigilant in the coming week and months as it is likely other participating local communities will be making similar announcement.

Which communities have been selected to participate?

Eleven rural and northern communities across four provinces in Canada have been nominated to participate in the new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. These jurisdictions, some of which already have populations of more than 100,000, will be able to invite new immigrants to make these communities their new homes.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was first announced in January 2019 as a Canadian immigration initiative to tackle the labour market needs of smaller communities and provinces.

As the Canadian population ages and the birth rate drops, rural Canada’s workforce has seen a major decrease in available workers. The Rural and Northern pilot will help draw people that are required to drive economic growth and help support middle-class jobs in these regions.

The new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a five-year initiative targeted at testing community-driven approaches to tackle the labour market requirements of smaller communities.

Rural and Northern Pilot communities

The nominated communities are Thunder Bay (ON), Sudbury (ON), Timmins (ON), Sault Ste. Marie (ON), North Bay (ON), Brandon (MB), Moose Jaw (SK), Gretna-Rhineland-Altona-Plum Coulee (MB), Claresholm (AB), West Kootenay (BC), and Vernon (BC).

The participating communities were picked as a representative sample of the regions across Canada to help in the laying out the template for the rest of the country. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will now begin to work with participating communities to position them to start identifying candidates for Canadian permanent residence.

Eligibility for Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

Communities looking to take part in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot have to meet the following criteria:

  • have a population number of 50,000 people or less and be located at least Seventy-five (75) km from the core of a Census Metropolitan Area.
    OR up to 200,000 people and be deemed remote from other bigger cities;
  • be in Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, or Yukon;
  • have job opportunities;
  • Communities must have an economic development plan;
  • have a local economic development office that can handle the pilot for the community; and
  • be able to settle newcomers in the community by having or developing:connections with local or regional immigrant-serving organization,opportunities to connect new immigrants with established members of the community, such as through networking or mentoring. access to key services like housing, education,  transportation and healthcare.

Communities must also possess the support, shown through letters of support from the municipality (local leaders) and a regional or local immigrant-serving organization.

Canadian government also encourages communities with French-speaking populations to apply for RNIP and identify themselves in their applications.

Application process

The first step in the immigration process via the RNIP is to get an eligible job offer from an eligible employer in one of the participating communities.

Candidates with an approved job offer then apply for a community recommendation and, if endorsed, submit an application for permanent residence of Canada from IRCC.

Each community will have a specified number of recommendation that it can make every year. Peter Liang, a spokesperson for IRCC, told Canusim News that an average of about 100 principal candidates and their immediate family members could be welcomed in each participating communities, “but this will vary by community.”

“The number of permanent residents coming to Canada through the pilot will depend on the requirement of the participating communities and the number of new immigrants they can accept,” Liang said.

In total, the pilot could approve as many as 2,750 principal candidates and their family members for permanent residence annually.